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Lenten of reflection

Today, marked by the austere symbol of Ashes, we enter the Season of Lent, beginning a spiritual journey that prepares us to celebrate the Paschal Mysteries with dignity. The blessed ashes, imposed on our head, are a sign that reminds us of our condition as creatures, which invites us to penance and to intensify our commitment to conversion in order to follow the Lord more and more.

Lent, which leads us to the celebration of Holy Easter, is a very precious and important liturgical time for the Church. As the ecclesial community looks forward to the definitive encounter with its Spouse at eternal Easter, assiduous in prayer and in industrious charity, it intensifies its journey of purification in spirit, in order to draw more abundantly from the mystery of redemption, new life in Christ the Lord. (cf. Preface I of Lent).

Lent is a journey, it is accompanying Jesus who goes up to Jerusalem, the place of fulfillment of his mystery of passion, death and resurrection; it reminds us that the Christian life is a path to follow, and that it consists not so much in a law to observe, as in the person of Christ to encounter, receive and follow. Indeed, Jesus tells us: "If anyone wants to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me" (Lk 9:23). In other words, he tells us that to arrive with him to the light and joy of the resurrection, to the victory of life, love and goodness, we too must take up the cross every day, as a beautiful page of the Imitation of Christ exhorts us. : "Therefore, take up your cross and follow Jesus; that is how you will enter into eternal life. You were preceded by him, who carried his cross (cf. Jn 19:17) and died for you, so that you too might bear his your cross and you too wanted to be crucified. Indeed, if you die with Him, you will live with Him and like Him. If you are His companion in suffering, you will be His companion even in glory" (l. 2, c. 12, n.) There is a key word that is frequently cited in the Liturgy to indicate this: the word today, and it must be understood in an original and concrete sense, not metaphorically. given to choose between good and evil, between life and death (cf. Dt 30, 19); today "the Kingdom of God is at hand. Convert and believe in the Gospel" (Mk 1, 15); today Christ died on Calvary and rose from the dead; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father; today the Holy Spirit is conferred on us; today is a favorable time. Therefore, participating in the Liturgy means immersing one's life in the mystery of Christ, in his permanent presence, walking a path on which we enter into his death and resurrection in order to receive life.

This today, “hodie”, is very familiar to N.P.S. Bento as we read in the Prologue of the Holy Rule: “And, with our eyes open to the divine light, let us listen with attentive ears to what the divine voice that cries out every day warns us. : “today, if you hear his voice, do not allow your hearts to harden”(9)... Run while you have the light of life, so that the darkness of death does not envelop you”(13).

This itinerary that we are invited to follow during Lent is characterized, in the Church's tradition, by certain practices: fasting, almsgiving and prayer. Fasting means abstinence from food, but it encompasses other forms of deprivation for a more sober life. However, all this is not yet the complete reality of fasting: it is the external sign of an interior reality, of our commitment, with God's help, to abstain from evil and to live the Gospel. One does not truly fast who does not know how to feed on the Word of God.

Mother Abbess Martha Lucia.

*** Mother Martha Lúcia Ribeiro Teixeira, osb is the current Abbess of the Nossa Senhora da Paz Monastery and has been in the monastery for 39 years, 23 of which as abbess. Her predecessors were Me. Dorotéia Rondon Amarante, osb and Me. Regina Jardim Paixão, osb, both from the group of founders of the Monastery. The Community has 27 members. “The Abbot takes the place of Christ, for he is called by the same cognomen as Christ, in the words of the Apostle: ‘You have received the spirit of adoption as sons, in which we cry: ABBA, Father’.” (Rule of Saint Benedict 2,2).

The Nossa Senhora da Paz Monastery belongs to the Benedictine Congregation of Brazil and was founded on July 21, 1974, as a dependent priory of the Abbey of Santa Maria, in São Paulo. On May 23, 1983, the community reached the minimum number of 12 nuns needed to become an independent abbey. At the time of its founding, the monastery belonged to the Archdiocese of São Paulo. With the creation of the Diocese of Campo Limpo, in 1989, the abbey became part of the new circumscription.

The founders of this monastery were Mother Dorotéia Rondon Amarante (1916-2015) and Regina Jardim Paixão (1928-2020), accompanied by Sisters Emerenciana Rabello Jardim (1910-1997), Maria Cruz (1930-2020), Paulina de Carvalho Gomes ( 1916-2007), Mônica Castanheira (1926-2018) and Maria Beatriz Rondon Amarante (1918-2016).

These nuns took up the challenge of establishing a new monastic community

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